The indulgent robot vacuum for lazy folks

Aa2020 editors choice

The Roborock S7 MaxV is Roborock’s most complete robot vacuum so far. It gets the S7’s VibraRise mop and sonic cleaning, plus the S6 MaxV’s dual-camera setup for accurate obstacle avoidance. The Ultra model ships with a do-it-all dock that empties the dust bin, cleans the mop, and absorbs dirty water. All of this comes at a whopping $1,399 price, but if you want the best no matter the cost, this is it.

Robot vacuums have come a long way in the last decade. From frequent furniture bumping and erratic cleaning patterns to automatic object detection and self-emptying dust bins, we’ve slowly seen them become more worthy of the “robot” moniker. But while full autonomy is still a ways off, the latest Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is as close as it gets today. It cleans, it mops, it knows when to raise the mop to avoid carpets, it stays away from obstacles, and when it’s done, it empties the dust bin, fills up the water tank, and cleans the mop. How good is it at fulfilling all of these expectations? Find out in our Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra review.

What you need to know about the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra

Roborock s7 maxv ultra empty wash fill dock from the top

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

  • Roborock S7 MaxV: $859.99 / €749-799
  • Roborock S7 MaxV Plus: $1,159.99 / €999
  • Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra: $1,399.99 / €1,399

The S7 MaxV is Roborock’s newest and most powerful vacuum to date. By combining the best features of the Roborock S7 and S6 MaxV, the company has built a robot vacuum that can handle everything it might encounter without requiring any human intervention. The S7 MaxV comes in three variants: the base model with a simple charging dock, the Plus with an automatic dust-emptying dock, and the Ultra which has a large three-in-one dock. We’ll get to this dock in a bit.

The Roborock S7 MaxV combines the best features of the S7 and S6 MaxV in one extremely powerful vacuum.

Let’s focus on the robot first. The roaming disk inherits all of the hardware advances that came with the regular Roborock S7. The VibraRise mop module vibrates while mopping to better scrub floors and remove encrusted stains and smudges without smearing them across the floor. It also elevates by 5mm when it docks or when it detects carpets to avoid wetting them. The S7 MaxV gets the new all-rubber brush too, with no hard-to-clean bristles. Like the mop, the brush can adjust its height to better scrub uneven floors and dislodge dust from carpets.

Then the S7 MaxV goes one step further by incorporating the dual-camera and on-device AI recognition system of the Roborock S6 MaxV. That allows it to accurately recognize obstacles and navigate around them — it also enables the remote video viewing feature. Just like the S6 MaxV, video streaming remains an opt-in option that you have to manually enable on the robot and in the app. If you don’t feel comfortable with the security measures — TÜV Rheinland certification, automatic data deletion after the stream ends, pattern unlock to view the stream in the app — you can simply keep it disabled.

But perhaps the biggest upgrade the S7 MaxV brings to the table is its doubled suction power. It is rated at 5,100Pa compared to the S6 MaxV and S7’s 2,500Pa.

All of these great additions come on top of Roborock’s existing robot vacuum feature set. You get excellent floor mapping (for up to four different levels), per-room cleaning and mopping settings, quiet hours, multiple routines and schedules, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integrations, and an extensive app that lets you customize every little thing. It can also work with Apple’s Siri via Siri Shortcuts.

See also: What is a smart home and why should you want one?

In order to fit all of these features and upgrades together in the same robot, the dust and water tank had to take a hit. They’re a bit smaller on the S7 MaxV compared to its predecessors, but that won’t matter much if you have the Ultra model with the all-in-one dock.

Speaking of this dock, it does most of the daily maintenance tasks people normally dread with robot vacuums. It has three compartments on top: clean water, dirty water, and dust bag. When the S7 MaxV finishes cleaning, the dock aspirates and empties the vacuum’s dustbin, fills its clean water tank, scrubs and washes the mop, then sucks up all the dirty water from the base. That guarantees that the robot can sit still without accumulating mold on a wet, dirty mop. Plus, it’s ready for its next cleaning cycle without you lifting a finger.

All three Roborock S7 MaxV models have the same robot vacuum. The difference lies in the included charging dock.

  • The base model Roborock S7 MaxV ships with a simple charging dock that has a plastic mat for the robot to rest on when it’s idling between cycles. You have to empty the dustbin, fill the water tank, and wash the mop manually. It costs $859.99.
  • The Roborock S7 MaxV Plus comes with a slightly more elaborate dock that measures 457 x 383 x 314mm. It auto-empties the dustbin when the robot finishes cleaning, so you don’t have to worry about that. Just change the dust bag when it’s full (the app will notify you). You still need to manually fill the water tank and clean the mop. It costs $1,159.99.
  • The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra has a larger 504 x 422 x 420mm dock that handles everything. It empties the dustbin, fills the tank with clean water, scrubs and cleans the mop, and sucks up all the dirty water. You have zero regular maintenance to worry about between cleaning cycles. It also charges the vacuum 30% faster than the two other docks. It costs $1,399.99.

The Roborock S7 MaxV sits firmly in the very high-end segment of robot vacuums. The Ultra model with this do-it-all dock costs a whopping $1,399.99. It is not yet available for purchase anywhere — we’re told it should show up on May 2. The Plus model with the auto-emptying dustbin is $1,159.99, while the base robot with a simple charging dock is $859.99. Both are available from Roborock, Amazon, and Walmart.

What’s good?

Roborock s7 maxv vacuum top with lidar sensor and buttons

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

When you think of a robot vacuum, you usually picture a utopian device that cleans your entire home with zero human help. The reality, however, is far from that. You have to prepare your home for these roving disks by lifting up any cables or stray objects (socks, slippers), opening any closed doors, pushing curtains aside to let the robot clean behind them, and making sure there are clear circulation paths into every area. Then, once the vacuum is done, you have to clean it — becoming the vacuum cleaner yourself, as an old meme says. Empty the dust bin, fill the water tank, remove the mop and scrub it, remove any dust from the brush, and so on.

The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra solves more than half of these problems. It is one of the first quasi-autonomous robot vacuums out there, requiring almost zero human interventions before or after each cleaning cycle. In the six weeks that I’ve been testing it, I only had to “save” it twice. Once when it got stuck on a thin dangling charging cable, and once when the Lidar sensor was jammed so the robot couldn’t really detect where it was. Thankfully, this was a single occurrence (likely due to dust?) and after spinning the top Lidar disk with my finger a few times, it was back in action.

It is one of the most autonomous robot vacuums, requiring almost zero human interventions before or after each cleaning cycle.

Aside from these two minor situations, the S7 MaxV has handled everything around my apartment with ease. Wandering socks, slippers, and shoes are no match for its dual-camera AI detection system. Randomly moving objects like laundry baskets or garbage bins doesn’t worry it either. It manages to avoid the standing mat beneath my desk, and all of the cables behind our TV table and near our desks (except really thin cables). The first time it went through the house, it had to go back and forth multiple times at different angles to get over the raised transition strip between the hallway and bedroom, but it has since “learned” how to overcome it and it now only takes one attempt. Two at most. This is why I can run it when I’m not home without worrying and come back to a clean apartment.

Going back to that first sweep of the house, it only took a few minutes thanks to the cameras. The S7 MaxV detected the different floor types, furniture, carpet location, then drew the floor map, divided the rooms, and picked the most appropriate vacuuming and mopping modes for each room. You can manually modify any of these — I pushed the kitchen wall back a few centimeters and joined the two parts of the hallway into one room. Setting up no-go zones, choosing what happens when a carpet is detected, scheduling cleaning cycles, and customizing any setting can be done through the app.

The S7 MaxV’s 5,100Pa maximum suction power came in handy the first cycle when it went underneath furniture that hadn’t been moved in a while — bed, couch, TV table. All the accumulated dust was removed in one go. For subsequent runs, I’ve kept the balanced vacuuming mode as default; it’s more than enough for daily cleaning. Even when I was dogsitting a furry friend for ten days, I didn’t feel the need to change that setting. The vacuum picked up all the shedding fur without a problem.

When it comes to mopping modes, though, there’s a more frequent need for the most intense setting. For daily or bi-weekly cleaning of bedrooms and lower-circulation areas, the moderate mode is good enough. But a post-cooking kitchen or post-shower bathroom need that vibrating mop to go at them on full blast. With time, it becomes easier to tell which settings you need and to create tailor-made routines that can be launched with a single tap. For example, I have an “After Meals” routine that intensely vacuums and scrubs the kitchen.

Then there’s the Ultra dock which deserves a dedicated section.

How good is the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra’s dock?

Roborock s7 maxv ultra empty wash fill dock from the side

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

In as few words as possible: indulgent but indispensable. It removes all of the menial daily tasks associated with robot vacuums. In my six weeks with the Roborock S7 MaxV, I only had to fill the clean water tank and empty the dirty one once. I didn’t once touch the mop, empty the dustbin, or flip the robot upside down to clean any bits or pieces. It takes care of all of that on its own. And remember, I had a dog for ten days.

The robot washes the mop and fills the water tank before and after each cleaning cycle. Even in my relatively small 47sqm (506sqft) apartment, it also stops midway in its cleaning cycle to wash the mop and ensure it remains clean for the rest of the apartment. That’s not something you’d do without that dock, unless you paused mid-cycle and manually scrubbed the mop. Let’s face it, no one is doing that.

In my preparation for this review, I took a closer look at all of the robot’s and dock’s elements after all these weeks of use. I noticed that some cleaning was perhaps due — though the robot was still functioning without it. The bottom roller brush had some dog hair stuck in it, and the dock’s mop-washing brush and dirty water recipient (above on the right) had some accumulated grime. A few minutes and everything was spick and span again.

After using the S7 MaxV Ultra for a few weeks, there’s no way I can go back to a robot vacuum without a similar all-in-one dock.

After using the S7 MaxV Ultra for a few weeks, there’s no way I can go back to a robot vacuum without a similar all-in-one dock. It’s excellent for busy (read: lazy) people like me who’d rather let the robot do its thing and not waste any time dealing with grimy and dirty elements. It’s even more indispensable if you live in a larger apartment. The robot will fill its water tank and clean itself whenever it needs to, so you no longer need to babysit it during every cycle.

What’s not so good?

Roborock s7 maxv bottom mop and roller brush

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s not easy to find faults in a product that pushes the envelope of its category. Of course, there’s the price factor. This Cadillac (or Tesla, depending on how old you are) of robot vacuums costs a hefty sum, especially in its Ultra configuration. You’re paying $550 extra just for the dock — the price of a standalone upper mid-range robot vacuum. Overall, $1,399.99 is the cost of indulgence and laziness, and it’s only when you consider how many hours of labor (cleaning and maintenance) you might save that the number might become a little more justifiable. Still, we’re sure the price will drop significantly once this technology becomes more mainstream, so for now, this is clearly a premium for an all-singing, all-dancing vacuum.

$1,399 is the cost of excellence, indulgence, and laziness.

The dock itself is also bulky. You might not have the space for it in your apartment, or you may think it doesn’t have the sexiest look. I had to place it in the hallway and contend with its unsightly presence because there’s just no other location for it where it wouldn’t interfere with doors or cabinets. For the first few days, I also kept tripping on the extended plastic mat that the robot docks on.

The other shortcomings of the Roborock S7 MaxV have more to do with robot vacuums in general and not this particular model. Like its ilk, it doesn’t deal well with high-pile carpets, but you can set no-go zones to avoid them. It does an average job of cleaning corners, unlike some other D-shaped vacuums that can reach them better. It’s quite large and might not pass between the legs of some chairs or reach some narrower areas, like the space between a toilet and the wall. You have to make sure there’s enough clearing for it to pass beneath your sofa — ours has a wooden support beam on one side that the S7 MaxV has to find a way around from the sides. Sometimes it does, other times it just gives up and continues with the rest of the living room.

Complete your cleaning kit: Everyone should have a mini USB-C mini vacuum at home

Some extra options in the app would be quite welcome too. Instead of de-scheduling every routine when you’re on vacation, it would be neat to pause them all for a few days. It’d also be great to manually force the robot to clean no-go zones as a one-off; that way you could remove all your carpets and problematic items, do one full clean, and return them, without having to remove then redraw all the zones on the map. And finally, I’d like to be able to pause a cycle, manually control the robot, then resume; that would come in handy when there’s a hard encrusted stain somewhere. But I’m nitpicking here. All of these are minor improvements, not essential features.

Roborock S7 MaxV specs

Roborock S7 MaxV Roborock S7 Roborock S6 MaxV

Suction power

Roborock S7 MaxV

5,100Pa

Roborock S7

2,500Pa

Roborock S6 MaxV

2,500Pa

Dustbin capacity

Roborock S7 MaxV

400ml

Roborock S7

470ml

Roborock S6 MaxV

460ml

Water tank capacity

Roborock S7 MaxV

200ml

Roborock S7

300ml

Roborock S6 MaxV

300ml

Rated power

Roborock S7 MaxV

74W

Roborock S7

68W

Roborock S6 MaxV

66W

Noise – Balanced mode

Roborock S7 MaxV

67dB

Roborock S7

67dB

Roborock S6 MaxV

67dB

Battery

Roborock S7 MaxV

5,200mAh

Roborock S7

5,200mAh

Roborock S6 MaxV

5,200mAh

Runtime – Quiet mode

Roborock S7 MaxV

180mins

Roborock S7

180mins

Roborock S6 MaxV

180mins

Sonic mopping

Roborock S7 MaxV

Yes

Roborock S7

Yes

Roborock S6 MaxV

No

VibraRise automatic mop lifting

Roborock S7 MaxV

Yes

Roborock S7

Yes

Roborock S6 MaxV

No

Ultrasonic carpet sensing

Roborock S7 MaxV

Yes

Roborock S7

Yes

Roborock S6 MaxV

No

All-rubber floating brush

Roborock S7 MaxV

Yes

Roborock S7

Yes

Roborock S6 MaxV

No

Reactive AI obstacle avoidance

Roborock S7 MaxV

Yes

Roborock S7

No

Roborock S6 MaxV

Yes

Remote viewing and audio

Roborock S7 MaxV

Yes

Roborock S7

No

Roborock S6 MaxV

Yes

Dimensions

Roborock S7 MaxV

353 x 350 x 96.5mm

Roborock S7

353 x 350 x 96.5mm

Roborock S6 MaxV

353 x 350 x 96.5mm

Color

Roborock S7 MaxV

Black

Roborock S7

Black, White

Roborock S6 MaxV

Black

Base price (no dock)

Roborock S7 MaxV

$859

Roborock S7

$649

Roborock S6 MaxV

$749

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra review: Should I buy it?

Roborock s7 maxv ultra docked, view from the front

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

When making the S7 MaxV Ultra, Roborock took everything and the kitchen sink and threw it in. The company is clearly setting a new high standard for its robot vacuums. This has every feature you can imagine and then some, and it does all of them justice. The star of the show is certainly the dock, which removes a lot of menial daily tasks and ensures that you can run the robot for several weeks without lifting a single finger. Sure, there comes a time when you need to clean the brush or empty the dirty water tank, but these are quick tasks that only take a minute or two every few weeks.

Related: The best smart home devices you can buy

But all of that convenience comes at a very, very hefty price — $1,399.99. Is it worth it? That’s a question only you can answer. If you’re wasting an hour every day cleaning your apartment or hiring someone to do it for you, the S7 MaxV will make up for its price in less than a year. But if you don’t mind filling up the water tank and emptying the dustbin every day or two, you may be better off with the base model ($859.99) or the Plus dock ($1,159.99) variant.

Better yet, you can save a pretty penny by going for older and cheaper models. The Roborock S7 ($649.99) has nearly the same capabilities, minus the dual-camera setup, and it comes in an S7 Plus variant ($949.99) with an auto-emptying dock.

The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra has every feature you can imagine and then some, and it does all of them justice.

Looking outside of Roborock’s portfolio, there are a few similar next-generation robot vacuums that are also attempting to be as hands-free as possible. The Dreame W10 ($1,089) comes close, but its dock doesn’t empty the dustbin too. The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni ($1,499) costs $100 more and doesn’t have a rising mop element for carpets, but it has two spinning mops for better scrubbing and it hot-airdries them when it’s docked. For me, the choice is simple because I don’t want to worry about manually removing the mop bracket to clean the carpets, and only Roborock can run a mopping cycle where the carpets get vacuumed too.

Roborock s7 maxv ultra product image

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra

The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is the most powerful robot vacuum from Roborock. It vacuums and mops, it detects obstacles, it has a rising mop bracket to avoid carpets, and a dual-camera setup for remote video streaming. The Ultra model comes with an empty-wash-fill dock that empties the dustbin, fills the water tank, washes the mop, and sucks up the dirty water.

Roborock s7 maxv plus product image

Roborock S7 MaxV Plus

The Roborock S7 MaxV Plus is a top-of-the-line robot vacuum from Roborock. Besides vacuuming and mopping, detecting and avoiding obstacles, it has a rising mop bracket to roam over carpets without wetting them, and dual cameras that you can livestream from. The Plus model comes with a dustbin auto-emptying dock.

Roborock s7 maxv product imag2

Roborock S7 MaxV

The Roborock S7 MaxV is Roborock’s latest robot vacuum. It cleans the floors and mops while detecting obstacles, the mop bracket rises up to avoid wetting carpets, and there’s a dual-camera setup for object detection and remote video streaming. The base model comes with a simple charging dock.

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